What Do You Mean I’m Not Really Married? Or Not Really Divorced?

What Do You Mean I’m Not Really Married? Or Not Really Divorced? | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

When people call our office asking about divorce or family court issues, we tell them the various documents we need to look at in order to best advise them. One of the documents we want to look at is their marriage certificate. Often, we have people who consider themselves married, have lived together for years, had children together, bought property together and they are surprised that they are not, in fact, married. New York has no “common law marriage.” There is an exception to that rule. New York will give full faith and credit to a marriage from another state or country where it was recognized. For example if you lived together in a state which did recognize common law marriage prior to moving to New York, you will be considered married here as well. People who get married in a religious ceremony in another country, Israel, for example, will be considered married here even though they did not have a secular marriage.

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